Sunday, September 29, 2013

He expects our......

A New Vision For The Work of Salvation

Wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.
President Thomas S. Monson

Elder Russell and Elder Enriquez
"The Story Behind This Family"
As related by Elder Russell
"There is a family in the ward where the mother is an active member, the father is very Catholic, and the children are not baptized.  The father had not permitted his two children to be baptized for many years until yesterday. The story begins like this.....  we knew about this families specific situation, but we didn't really have any hope of changing the situation because we knew how the father felt about his religion and the challenge that he was almost never home.  We had planned the day before to visit some close neighbors of theirs and put the part member family as a backup.  The first visit fell through, so we passed by their home as a surprise to them.  The surprise flipped in our direction as the father happened to be home this weekend, which ended up presenting the opportunity for us to discuss the need for his children to be baptized. He told us that his children can do what they want, that it didn't matter to him anymore, but that he wanted to be at the baptism.  This presented a unique situation in that the baptism needed to happen the next day because he would be available.  This was OK, because the children had been active in the church for years even though they weren't baptized.  The next day they were baptized. It was amazing to see how God puts everything in place at the time that he wants.  The Lord sent us to that family at the perfect moment when the father was home and his heart was softened. Heavenly Father also provided the means so that we could make the necessary arrangements for the baptisms.
Another example showing he knows each of us, our needs and desires." 

Holiday Packages  

Mexico Pachuca Mission
Elder ________________
Boulevard Miguel Hidalgo 4.5 Km
Col. Villas de Pachuca
C.P. 42083
Pachuca, Hidalgo Mexico

Please send through the United States Postal Service no later than November 1st if possible.
If I may be so bold: Please consider something little for their companion in case they don't get anything from home.

(Above left) As if learning the Spanish language isn't enough- Elder Stewart ordered a book on French. You GO Elder Stewart! Everyone in the office kept asking me if I ordered the book- are you kidding? I can barely say "Hola"!
(Above right) Elder Barber showed up to the mission office looking dapper in his vest. He looks trim and fit..... it's that Mexican diet plan... 
(Bottom) President BBQing "la comida" for Elder Poulsen and Elder Dove. 
It was the last lunch with our assistants before Elder Poulsen headed for home. I has been a little emotional all week...
The boys gobbled up lunch like it was their last meal. 

District Meeting 

President's assistant Elder Poulsen attended this district meeting on Wednesday. 
He complimented Elder Duran on his excellent and well prepared training.
The camera for the pictures below takes 10 frames in a row.... I picked the best two...they got crazier and crazier the more the camera flashed... 
Look at those smiles...


Departing Missionaries Sept 28th 2013

"Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end.

 They simply mean I'll miss you... until we meet again."

We sadly said goodbye to eleven magnificent missionaries.
Many served as Zone Leaders and Trainers and so again we felt a large leadership gap ...

President kept his emotions intact pretty good all Friday afternoon/night as he interviewed them and we had lunch and dinner at the house. Then when we met them Saturday morning at 3:30 am to see them off in six taxis to the bus station, for the bus to the Mexico City airport- we did pretty good... but about 4 hours later President came into the kitchen sobbing. I think it finally hit him that they were really headed home...oh- how we have grown to love and admire them each individually. 
This is a text I got on my phone Thursday night from the dearest Elder...
"All my bags are packed...I'm ready to go...Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane -don't know when I'll be back again..."  
That's all it took and I was tearing up like a cry baby... 
...this is hard on the heart.

Elder Shillig (Rural Retreat, Virginia), Elder McCormick ( Hope Mils, North Carolina),
Elder Serrato (Tarimbaro, Michocacan Mexico), Elder Perez (San Miguel de Allede, Guanajuato Mexico), Elder Garcia (Cali, Colombia), Elder Bowles (Manti, Utah),
  Elder Hernandez (Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico), Elder Peterson (Mesa, Arizona),
Elder Kofford (Las Vegas, Nevada), Elder Clawson (Taylorsville, Utah),
and Elder Poulsen (Ely, Nevada)

Below Elder Poulsen (left, going home), Elder Loza and Elder Dove (Currently assistants to the President) and Elder Shillig (right, going home). All have served as assistants to President Egbert.

So now... onward to the next event...our focus changes to our arriving missionaries in the morning. We have 9 natives coming in the morning(Monday) and then we drive to Mexico City and pick up 3 Elders coming from the Provo MTC. We will share all those pictures in next weeks blog.

So yesterday and today (Sunday) we zipped up to Molango again to check on and support the "Branch" and "Group" in that area. Elder McCormick who has been serving with Elder Heninger was one of our eleven that went home. Elder Caballero was transferred early before scheduled changes to be Elder Heninger's new companion. Because this area is so far away we couldn't have our missionaries out of the area from Friday through Tuesday. Elder Caballero has been serving as a Zone Leader in Mezquital but will do a tremendous job in this new assignment. President picked Elder Caballero because of his work ethic, trustworthy character and his ability to be a phenomenal trainer to Elder Heninger; who by the way is doing amazing with his language. Saturday night they had an incredible family home evening with branch members - I was so impressed. Then in today's meetings (5th Sunday combined RS and Priesthood) no one had been assigned to teach; but never fear- Elder Caballero taught a meaningful 50 min lesson on the atonement. "ALWAYS PREPARED"- if we could all be so lucky to follow his example.
Both Elders are trying to practice their limited piano playing skills any chance they get at the "House of Prayer" (church building). Its amazing how well the members do singing acapella every Sunday.
Sharing corner...

  • So this week I tried to make homemade rolls like Grandma Mae used to make. The first batch was little bit concerning (that's being positive)... one Elder commented "Did you pray before you tried to make them?" Of course I hadn't. So the next day I tried round two... prayed before... and they turned out so much better!
  • In last weeks Sacrament meeting, my companion and I gave talks. I talked about miracles and they can take place in our lives. I really testified of that because many weeks ago we didn't have investigators in Sacrament Meeting, and this week we had five investigators at church. Something that I felt was a miracle coupled with hard work. A couple that we found is such a great story.. I would like to share.  A week ago my companion and I were in a suburb in our area, we had just left the combi (transport van) and were beginning to walk, but in that moment I looked back and I saw a woman. I felt a desire to go talk with her, but instead I ignored the prompting. We turned left on the corner and when we were walking I turned back looking to see if I could see where the woman had gone. We finally arrived at the place of our appointment and they were not there.  So then we returned down our previous path trying to locate this woman I had seen but we were unsuccessful. We began to knock doors and we found a young man that wanted to talk with us, but requested at another time. We then were going to another site in our area, but I felt bad about leaving. So we returned and found a man that the missionaries had taught in 2005 and he had  previously read the BofM up to the book of Alma. We were invited back to teach him and his family. We returned another day and we are now teaching them, and they attended sacrament meeting last Sunday. I really know that there are many people that the lord has prepared to receive the gospel right now. We only have to find them and teach them by the spirit.

  • I do have a parable for your wife though if she wants to share it... This is an experience I had this week as I was at a lesson with my companion and my focus got distracted for a small amount of time...
    I saw a centipede, a very small one, and a spider. But the centipede was still much bigger than the spider. As I was watching, the spider trapped the centipede (which was on the floor and the spider was in his web under the desk) by shooting strings of web at his legs. The more webs he shot the closer he got to the centipede. Now the spider thought he was still in control and was going to have dinner for the next few days. Never-the-less he got a little too close and the centipede shot around in lightening speed and bit and killed the spider instantly. Now as I witnessed this whole event I began to relate this with us being the spider and Satan being the Centipede and the strings of web being things we forgot to do or did wrong. For example we forget to pray or read our scriptures, that is the first string and you now have Satan's attention. so this leads you to start being disobedient and doing other things that you know are not right. More strings to the centipede. Now you aren't reading or praying but you are going to church so you think you are in control. Unknowingly you are continually becoming farther and farther away from safety, Heavenly Father, and getting closer and closer to Satan and his power. But what we don't realize is that spiritually we are very weak; and then a larger and more serious sin comes in our way and you don't have the strength to say no. This is when Satan may reach out and fatally bite us causing our death spiritually. All because that one string of web (wrong doing) that was initially spit at us and started our whole entrapment. I have since contemplated how we need to remember that Satan has a lot of power and we never want to catch his attention from being spiritually weak and by making poor choices. We need to continually be obedient and focus on the fruits (fly's) that come into our home closer to our Heavenly Father.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

...what appears to be a sacrifice

"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make."  Gordon B Hinckley

"Its A Fiesta"

Everyone survived the weekend of "Mexican Independence Day".
The Country is decorated in the traditional green, white, and red. 
Elder Iverson and Elder Loayza are getting into the spirit!

"The Lord Will Help Us If We Are Faithful"Elder Katich

First baptism in two months. We are so proud of Elder Maravilla -Elder Katich .

Sweet Is The Work

Elder Poulsen and Elder Dove with their newest convert. This little boys father was reactivated recently by these two Elders and was able to baptize his son. There was a huge turnout by the ward in support of this family. Some powerful testimonies were shared which strengthens my own ten fold. He was confirmed this Sunday in sacrament meeting. The Bishop presented the family with a Family Home Evening Book, and the little boy with new scriptures and a Children's Primary Song Book. Elder Poulsen even scrubbed the font on Saturday by hand so it was in pristine condition... Impressive!
Also two other companionship's stayed late after church to assist in a special baptismal musical number. It was absolutely beautiful and they sang part of the song in English / Spanish. Notice our New Elder Ford who had been in the mission one night thrown into the mix. He also led all the music for the baptismal program. He was such a good sport!

Family Home Evening

Elder Arnett- Tecamac II Zone Leader ..."I thought I would just share this picture. We have had amazing family home evenings in the Ward. We have been organizing them. We invited Elder Menendez and Elder Rodríguez to this one to see how they could do it to help their side of the ward. This was one we had this week. We had 10 investigators present, 2 recent converts and 6 less-actives from our side."

Have President and I mentioned how proud we are of these kids?! 

Who's Up For A Little Soccer?

This is a group of Elders playing soccer on Monday next door to the mission office. No one got hurt... thank goodness..... however -at a zone farther away Elder Oliver wasn't so lucky and ended up in the hospital ER with a severe sprain, crutches, and non weight bearing status for one week. What touched my heart was the care and concern of his companion and those in his zone. And a dear sister who drove him to the hospital and all the way back to their area, which is a significant distance. She refused gas money that the President offered 3 times; only reassuring us that it was a pleasure and blessing to be of service. As I hugged her and watched them drive away from the hospital I got teary as I was overcome with gratitude for the many members of our area who watch over, feed, house, and assist in circumstances such as this- with a humble heart and willing attitude. We are so blessed.

We checked on him today (Sunday) and he had taken off the soft cast of cotton padding and put a sock on for church and kinda re-wrapped it. What a great attitude! I told him he has swelling in his toes just like us old ladies who have "edema" in our lower extremities at the end of the day!

Happy Elders

Mondays are Fun Days

It is so fun to be in the office on Mondays as missionaries come in to get pouch (mail). Those that live close play a little soccer in the parking lot, missionaries request special interviews with President Egbert, they turn in receipts, pick up missionary supplies, take English Language tests, and work on college applications. Elder Ford met up with his new companion/trainer Elder Rincon. (top right)

Oh- We Come Prepared!

Before hiking up the wet and muddy trail for a baptism in Molango we show off who was prepared in the group! Yep, that's right. Elder Dove and Hermana Egbert have boots on. Hermana Egbert is more of a fashion statement but its his toned legs that makes Elder Dove win this showdown! It's those 630 am workouts with Elder Shillig and Elder Poulsen. 

District Meetings on Wednesdays

President and I attended Elder Zamudios district meeting. 
This group of 6 had great participation. 

District Meetings on Wednesdays

The assistants attended Elder Messick's district meeting- positive report on the day.

"President Egbert's and My First P-Day in the Mission"
So the President's Assistants and the Secretaries talked President Egbert into taking a Preparation Day on Saturday as a group to visit the TEOTIHUACAN  Pyramids. They decided we earned a much needed break from the daily schedule of the Mexico Pachuca Mission. I went thinking "a pyramid is a pyramid- once you've seen one you've experienced them all!" I was just excited to spend time in the sun and with our Elders and  Elder-Sister Ramos. But to my surprise.... it was amazing! I don't even know where to start. It is a city of Pyramids that has been uncovered which was once populated by more than 175,000 people. They claim only 7%  of what existed is now uncovered. It goes on forever; and YES I climbed to the top of the tallest one. THIGH BUSTER! In a skirt no less.....   Can't wait til all our Elders get to visit this historical site when they serve in areas that are in close proximity.
The Elders arranged for a seasoned tour guide (who is a member of the church) to lead us through and teach us about the history. So much of it is tied to the history of the people of the Book of Mormon. 

Our Amazing Secretaries.
Elder Huff (Finances), Elder Stucki (Training in Finances), Elder Campuzano (Visa's)

No need to comment here.
Just look at this group.
Elder Stucki, Elder Huff (front), Elder Poulsen, Elder Dove, Elder Campuzano

Our Missionaries stood out in their missionary attire- and that is why they are asked on P-Days to always dress as a missionary. Many tourists asked for pictures with the Elders. 

In Deep Thought

The tour guide taught in this particular spot for over 40 minutes. The missionaries were in deep thought and referred to their Book of Mormon often as he referenced many facts about this area. 
After our get away to the Pyramids we headed back home, showered and dressed up again where we took off for a two day Stake Conference in the Tezontepec Stake.

Tezontepec Stake Conference

President and I were privileged to be apart of this Stake Conference Saturday night and Sunday. President spoke in the Adult session Saturday night and to the youth Sunday morning at 8:00 am. The chapel was packed and the spirit of the youth was strong in that meeting. Because this Stake does not have a Stake Center and their chapel has no gym they met in a tent in the parking lot. I took a picture as people were filing in before the meeting started. President did a fabulous job speaking in all three sessions. We were privileged to meet an Elder De Antunano, an area seventy and his family, and President Ruiz and his spouse, the first counselor in the Mexico City Temple Presidency. President Lozano of the Tezontepec Stake and his presidency are special men and so gracious and welcoming. Their efforts in preparation for this stake conference was commendable. President Egbert was impressed with attention to detail and the overall spirit of the whole conference. They ended up setting up more chairs and had right at one thousand members in attendance in the tent! What a great way to wrap up and start a new week. President Egbert translated for me twice as I shared a message- to which I am so grateful he can help me at this point with that part. It was so good to see three companionship's of missionaries in this stake. I apologize as I didn't get their pictures taken. Elder Russell and Elder Enriquez- Elder Hurtado and Elder Unamuno- and Sister Diaz and Sister Laguna. Elders Russell and Enriquez actually had a baptism right after conference. We had another commitment so were not able to attend, but they promised me pictures for next weeks blog. 

A Time To Share from our Missionaries

  • So one time we were trying to contact a less active member and we knocked on the door and you could hear a lot of noise inside. We were waiting for somebody to come and let us in when we saw two little boys peeking at us from the window- when they saw us looking at them they started to giggle and tried to hide. I asked them if their grandma was home. I was only answered with more giggles until one of the boys chucked a note out the window saying nobody was home! We started giggling ourselves as we walked away. Elder Kearl and Elder Zepeda
  • So on Monday all four of our appointments fell through. We were discouraged and asking "why"? We were prompted to visit a part member family that we had an appointment with later in the week. We decided to go by earlier than scheduled. Her husband for twenty years had wanted nothing to do with the church, but after our visit this day invited us back and is interested in progressing in his knowledge of the restored gospel. Elder Arnett and Elder Hirst
  • We have two investigators that are faithful attendees of AA. Their commitments to attend those meetings has interfered with their ability to attend church. We often felt like we should drop them as we were not progressing because of their inability to attend Sunday meetings. However, we felt inspired to invite them to pray and ask God if they should be attending Sunday meetings and if he would be able to help them solve this dilemma  They got the answer they needed and now we have 3 baptismal dates for the 11th of October. This couple and their 9 year old son. God answers prayers and we learned to be more patient and ask for inspiration on how to help our investigators with their unique challenges. Elder Messick and Elder Leon.
  • So last Sunday we were summoned to the Bishops office to help translate for an American sister who lives in the ward but does not speak Spanish. We translated to the bishop her concerns, challenges, and fears. As the Bishop bore his testimony and tried to help her, the spirit came so quickly and was felt so strongly. It breached the language barrier, and she felt our Heavenly Fathers love. We know God placed  two gringos here because one of his daughters needed a hand at a crucial time. God is a perfect planner and we are involved now in helping her family come back into activity. Elder Cardon and Elder Beesely.
  • So this week last week we were feeling rather discouraged as our progress had been slow and our two investigators were not progressing. My companion and I decided we need to have a companionship inventory and pray specifically for help on how we could resolve our "stalled" progress and be better missionaries. We were inspired that we need to be "happier in the work" and that others would feel that change by the smiles on our face. We also felt inspired to encourage the Bishop to contemplate how our ward could move forward with the "Work of Salvation" and that the recorded broadcast of that might inspire him on the specific needs of our ward. AMAZING results. We felt happier in the work this week, our investigators felt it and are progressing, our ward members have given names of those who could benefit from our message, and today we had the best ever ward council meeting. We testify it was because we humbled ourselves, asked sincerely and specifically for help, and then when inspired acted upon it. We are feeling blessed. Elder Noriega and Elder Moreyra
  • So I have been praying for more opportunities to share the gospel as my time in the mission wraps up the end of this week. I have been diligently working  to give 110% until the very last moment in my service. My companion and I were on a  transport van with only the driver and one other lady. As we were traveling she began to ask us about who we were and what we did. We discussed things about the church and then she asked "What do you like about Mexico?" I responded that I love the Mexican food. She said that she would love to cook something special for us and invited us to her home for a further discussion about the church and for some great Mexican cooking. I am grateful Heavenly Father hears my prayers and knows the desires of my heart and placed us in the perfect situation to share the gospel with another one of his children. Elder Clawson and Elder Rodriquez

Sunday, September 15, 2013

...the power of God behind you.

15 September 2013

"Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you."

This weeks quote is dedicated to the few that are struggling- 
We appreciate the prayers in behalf of all our missionaries. 

We had the privilege of picking up Elder Ford Saturday afternoon, who has been waiting for his VISA in order to be able to arrive in the Mexico Pachuca Mission. He has been serving in the Boise Idaho area. We are so thrilled to finally get him here as we are in desperate need of every missionary assigned to our mission. He is from the Salt Lake City area and loves to play tennis. He has amazing examples in his family, as all his siblings have served missions. Love it! The 15th of September is a HUGE holiday for Mexico, similar to the 4th of July in the United States. Traffic was crazy in Mexico City and poor Elder Ford endured hours in the car with President at the wheel- and who for some unfortunate accident missed one turn which took us on a wild goose chase through the streets of Mexico City. Believe me I was praying in the back seat of the mini van for divine intervention to guide us to the nearest on ramp headed to Pachuca. I'm sure Elder Ford was so impressed with the unplanned tour...NOT... needless to say the highlight for him was picking up our assistants on our way home where we made "Mexican Tacos". Elder Ford hadn't eaten since yesterday.... needless to say the boy needed food and sleep. However, because of the holiday we are expecting fireworks and wild partying all night long. We have asked all our missionaries on Saturday and Sunday night to be in their homes by 7:00 pm related to safety concerns. Welcome to the mission Elder Ford!


This week to be honest was not one of our most stellar weeks- but like we have said before 
"If it doesn't challenge you doesn't change you" and President and I are here to be challenged and changed for the better just like all our missionaries.
We have been on our knees often and fasted for several of our struggling missionaries- I have had a few sleepless nights and two cold sores to prove I worry about these kids. But I have had confirmation that Heavenly Father knows who we are- and that he cares- even though some of our kids are trying to find their own testimonies and assurance of his love for them- I can speak from personal experience in just this week alone that he helps us when we come up short, want to quit, or encounter pure frustration-and that really "Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you."

A Touching Moment.....

This morning (Sunday) President was notified at 0230 through email by a stake president that one of our missionaries grandfather's passed away rather unexpectedly yesterday. President called the Elder this morning at 0830 who was in his sacrament meeting. He had a very strong relationship with his grandfather as they lived near each other. The Elder got teary and then with conviction he said, "It's OK President, we know where he is and we know he is well." President responded, " You're right Elder, he is just with his 'trainer' learning how the work is done on the other side of the veil."
This touched my heart, Love to their family from the Mexico Pachuca Mission.

District Meetings- Wednesdays

President and I traveled to Tulancingo where we participated in Elder Cardon's district meeting. President was so impressed with the preparation that Elder Cardon had put into this weekly assignment. Time ran short and so Elder Cardon was unable to share all that he had prepared, so we hope to take a rain-check! Elders from his district participated as well, sharing experiences and personal testimony that they were asked to present. Afterwards several companions split up for divisions (exchange of companions for 24 hrs) and off they went to scheduled appointments with brownies in hand.


Because we can't be everywhere, we sent Presidents Assistants Elder Poulsen and Elder Dove to the Mezquital area for two days to check on things there and to visit two district meetings. They did divisions with the zone leaders in that area and covered more ground. 
Elder Dove said that attending Elder Unamuno's district meeting was one of the most- if not "the most" spiritual district meeting he has ever been in- what a compliment! President was so proud of both districts as Elder Poulsen complimented the district leader Elder Camacho for his sheer enthusiasm. It was contagious to the whole district. During practice session Elder Camacho stated, "I am going to be the member, and you are going to teach me how to share the gospel with my friend. Then he said, actually I'm going to be an active member, no- I'm going to be a strong member... I'll be the Stake President! So during the practice Elder Gallegos refers to Elder Camacho as "hermano" which is brother, and he stops them and says NO! I am President Camacho!!! Oh funny!! Love the spirit these leaders can bring to training. Elder Poulsen was also impressed with one of our newest missionaries, Elder Pass, and what a great job he is doing with the language and teaching. He is passionate about the work and one can see it in the photos below! Elder Dove, assistant, commented that he was Zone Leader over this area in April and that Elder Barrios/Elder Fox's ward would not support the missionaries. However now these Elders have gained the trust and respect of their ward members/leaders. The ward is participating in activities to assist in the Work of Salvation- taking an interest in finding investigators for these two Elders. A testimony that with hard work, strict obedience, and humble hearts the Lord's work moves forward. We are so proud of their efforts in being representatives of Jesus Christ.
What a great group of missionaries!

Elder Dove used to serve in this area and so he has a secret favorite place to go for
"Shrimp Taco's"....
The owner of the fish stand was a convert of Elder Doves.
Elder Poulsen states that's the best homemade lemonade ever!
Obviously- now we know one of the real reasons Elder Dove loved this area so much!!!

"Mexico Pachuca Mission Home Show Tour" 

Home # 1 - " Mezquital- Santiago"
This lovely little home probably has one of the "sweetest" kitchens. It's obvious these two Elders keep things in order and clean. These pictures were taken with an unannounced visit- Kudos to Elder Pass and Elder Gallegos. Check out that wild kitchen floor..... 
I couldn't have been prouder!


Home #2- "Pachuca Sur- Las Torres"

This little home is the one we talked about last week
that has occasional flooding when it rains hard. Elder Barber and Elder Duran
are working on finding a new place in the neighborhood to move.
They requested one more table for their kitchen area. They get the award for the most potential for improvement in this cycle of home checks. I will be returning on Monday to see the progress they have made on defrosting and wiping out their refrigerator and organizing their family room. 
They even have a cute new wipe-able table cloth to brighten up the place, a new mop, and new table- improvement is imminent. 
I know this last flooding incident dampened their spirits- but they keep grinning and have committed to keeping their place clean and in order.
They are being good sports.... Love them both!


Home #3-" Pachuca Sur - Pitahayas II"

This cute little neighborhood fits these two just perfect. They have a few cabinets in their kitchen which is really unusual- they have a little wood floor which makes the place feel "ritzy"! Elder Bickley and Elder Vique had everything in order. I love how they had their study tables right by the window so the morning sun can inspire and enlighten. Even though they have four leaks in their family room (which I'm going to get figured out, and an earlier rash of insects coming through the holes)... they take personal pride in their place. They have fixed the leaks the best they can and have sprayed for insects themselves. They stated, "No more bugs, that stuff we used will take your skin right off". Kudos Elders- The assistants who were with me as my guides in finding these homes commented when we got to the car that they have whipped this home into shape. They have never seen it look so good! These two will be amazing husbands some day... 
Elder Bickley commented that when he ate the banana bread we left that he got a little emotional as it reminded him of his amazing Mom and Grandma.
He sends his love to all you at home.


Home # 4- "Pachuca Sur- Valle Verde" 

This cute home nestled in the "Green Valley" area was darling. It would have sold if up for sale-ONLY because these two amazing zone leaders are the perfect example of taking care of your home. They had everything spic and span- with not a thing out of place. And you can tell this is how they have their home daily- not because I was coming.
They had pictures hanging in appropriate places, and a Mexican hat to add color and culture to their home. Every shoe lined up, every shirt ... see for yourself! And their bathroom, well their mothers could have used it without batting an eye.... because this bathroom had been scrubbed!!! 
Their floor was clean even behind the fridge and under their beds.
Oh what a pleasure to come here. The owners of this home had returned and ripped all the kitchen cabinets out, but that wasn't an excuse for Elder Almaraz and Elder Bowles. They still had their kitchen organized and in order.  When I asked them if they needed anything they reluctantly asked for a frying pan- the least we could get them!
A+ or a #12 on a scale of 1-10.  TOP RATINGS! 
Thanks for your daily efforts Elders!


Home # 5- "Mezquital- Tepatepec II"

Elder Barrios an Elder Fox live in this little abode. They get extra credit because this visit was unannounced. Our assistants even commented that the last time they were in this house they didn't even know a stove existed. It was so dirty and covered with some much "stuff". It really makes the mother instinct in me so proud when Elders take the initiative and make things better, and not assume that things stay status-quo because that's how it's been. Most of these homes have no hot water in the kitchen sink so it's pertinent that they use good soap, water, and "scrub" behind every cleaning task. President is so proud of these two Elders and the efforts they are making in their area as missionaries. 

Home #6- "Pachuca Sur- Valle Dorado"
This little "condo" is nestled off a busy road on a quiet little street. They have the perfect tree in their front yard to hang Christmas light on... Do they do that here in Mexico?
Elder Zamudio and Elder Gastelum had there home in order and also have a leaky ceiling and problem plumbing. Look in the picture and see how their kitchen sink is plumbed? Yep, that right- a 5 gallon bucket is the drainage system. Another one of those items on the "Get it fixed, figured out, or move" list. They don't even complain just deal with the inconveniences like troopers. They got a new mop and mop bucket along with banana bread! They acted like they had just won the million dollar lottery in Pachuca Mex.

This is how Noah must have felt when it started to rain....
We have had some rain all week... but this rain storm was crazy and flooded inside peoples homes and businesses, into taxi's, and was basically wild rivers down the streets.

Sister Leader Trainers Hard at Work

Our cute Sister Leader Trainers, Sister Perez and Sister Cortes, with one of their investigators. This mother was the last hold out on joining the church and has such a special spirit.
Her husband was the first to join and then her three daughters. She has committed to invite us to their family sealing in the temple in just over a year! We will keep her to that promise!

Check out this artists talents! And our missionaries even make that wall more eye catching!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Parade of Homes

Quotes of the Week

- "Dear President, My companion and I are doing a little better. Though sometimes I feel like I'm driving with the Parking Brake on!"
- This Elder had no shoes because both pairs were totally blown out and we couldn't find his size, he also, on the day I received this text, had lost his only name badge, " Sister Egbert, I am name-less, shoe-less and feeling worth-less."  We got it all taken care of and his name badge arrived yesterday. But we both will giggle about this for a long time to come. I love it when they can find humor in things especially when it is challenging!
- A recently returned missionary from Utah wrote this week," missionaries we often deviate and think that we are good missionaries if we baptize a lot, or if we have lots of lessons, or if we just focus on our investigators.  I know that as we focus our  missionary efforts on Christ (whether we be here at home or as an official calling in the Church) then we will see the fruits of our labors. We will see lives change; including our own." mb

Current Events of the Mission

- In 7 days we had 6 Elders get robbed. All at gun point- the one incident they only stole two cell phones and 40 pesos. ($3.00) The one Elder commented that "The Gun didn't even look real...but I wasn't going to find out for sure!" The second incident they stole 150 pesos from an Elder and his companion even though he had 300 pesos in his pocket- pulled out his white bible and shrugged his shoulders and told them he had nothing. So they continued on down the bus.
- One Elder reports that earlier in the mission a bus was being robbed and they asked everyone for 10 pesos. The Elder only had a 20 peso bill and the robber gave him 10 pesos back in change! That totally cracks me up.... another story where someone demanded money from Elders, they only had a 50 peso bill and the robber said "wait a minute". Ran into the convenience store got change and gave back 30 pesos and kept 20 pesos. Holy cow!! Are you kidding me?!  It's reassuring to know that the Lord is on our side, and when our missionaries are cautious, aware, and obedient the protection of the Lord is always on our side.
- The water in the baptismal font stopped filling. No more water! So the missionary in shallow waters, on bended knees, baptized the investigator as they sat on their bottom in the bottom of the font. Then laid down like in a bathtub. It worked- and thus the work moves forward.

Parade of Homes

Mexico Pachuca Mission

Wednesday we had Mission Leader Training with our new "Sister Leader Trainers" in attendance. It was fun to have a them present as we will be getting more and more sisters in our mission. The training was at our home from 830 am to about 300 pm. It was a great meeting and intense from this side of the kitchen door. So I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures as not to ruin the flow or the spirit of the meeting prepared by President Egbert and Assistants Elder Dove and Elder Poulsen. (Took a few after) I was in charge of breakfast at 0830 and lunch at 200 pm- and spoke for a minute regarding medical updates.

Leadership of the Mexico Pachuca Mission

I know I have said this before but this is the happiest and most enthusiastic group ever!
Leadership gathering "Pouch" to take back to their zones.....

On Thursday we attended one of our Zone Capacitions' in the Pachuca Centro Zone and enjoyed watching Elder Loza and Elder Garcia teach all their missionaries the things they learned on Wednesday. Again a session of role playing directed towards "Helping teach a member to invite a non-member".
Power-points, video clips, great discussions and a few words from President Egbert made it a great training.

 Mexico Pachuca Centro Zone

After this meeting President and I headed to three companionship's homes for the

 "Mexico Pachuca Mission Home Show".....

and since you aren't available to buy a ticket and tour... we are sharing the tour with you through pictures.

Home #1 of Elder Kearl and Elder Zepeda
"Real De Minas"
They do and outstanding job keeping their place spotless and in order.
I forgot to take my camera- so I ran back and took one of them from the outside. A+ !!!  Couldn't be prouder of their efforts... Thanks to the mom's at home who taught them basic skills to help them in the mission. Note their little plant on the balcony between them that they planted....

  Home Number #2- Elder Segura and Elder Gomez
" Pachuca Centro- Centro"
This little humble abode has a million dollar view, however its nestled in a very unique part of town. The set up of this little home is odd. Every room has an outside entry with a locked door. So outside on the patio you go to enter the kitchen/family room, or to use the bathroom, or to the bedroom, or to the closet. We acquired better mattresses, a heater, and a few other things to make it more comfortable. They are very content here and live near the city center that is a live and happening area.

HAPPY DAY! Elder Segura found shoes finally in his size... Miracles happen!!!
I have to give Elder Segura credit- in regards to his home visit he said,
"This is like the Parade of Homes!"

Home #3- Elder Stucki and Elder Rodriquez
"Pachuca Centro- Pachuquilla"
These two Elders live in the cutest little house. They need a little goat out front so they don't have to trim their grass with a machete.
They live in a very unique area outside of the congestion of Pachuca Centro.
Other than one leaky window when it rains this place is in tip top shape...don't worry Mom's -we are all over the leaky window!
Interesting fact: In this area when the garbage truck comes by you have to be present and pay them right then to pick up your garbage...hmmm?! 
Not convenient for these poor Elders...

So on Friday we did administrative things (paperwork, planning meetings, million emails, and phone calls) and delivered some supplies to a couple of companionship's.
President had a special interview with Elder Cardova and Elder Carlson's investigator. President mentioned that in just a few short weeks Elder Carlson's language skills are coming along impressively and it looks like he has been doing lots of walking! They looked great!
Saturday we had a meeting in Tecamac starting at 800 am. We left here right at 700 am. Thank goodness for the GPS which helps us navigate through some of these areas. You would never find some of these churches without some kind of intervention. We had been invited to a Stake Training on Missionary work where an amazing Stake President had all 12 bishops and their wives present. They ate breakfast probably somewhere around 1030 or 1100 together. We had to excuse ourselves at 1010 as we had  made arrangements to check 3 more missionaries apartments. So thus the "Parade of Homes" continues:
Home #4- Elder Hernandez and Elder Stewart
" Tecamac II- Hacienda 2"
So this little apartment is in their bishops yard. Built above the garage.
They had it Spic & Span- I wouldn't have changed one thing!
Everything in order... a place for everything. Look how they have organized using shelving and check out the shower- it could be a mini baptismal font!
Everyone got banana bread or chocolate chip cookies for allowing us into their home away from home. Nice job Elders! 

(Special thanks as they navigated us to the other two areas)

Home # 5- Elder Elton and Elder Sic
"Tecamac II- Ojo De Agua"
So these two Elders live in the back of a members home in a little apartment. They have these killer guard dogs out front. Elder Elton loves where they live he just says "You have to hang the laundry inside because the dogs will take it off the clothes line , and well...... not good!"
What is unique about this place is they have access to a washing machine which is very unusual for our missionaries. They wash their sheets weekly and they like to cook when they can in their kitchen. Impressed with the pictures of Christ they had hanging everywhere. They have made it so personal- I love it!

 This is them on Monday (P-Day) checking out the Pyramid!
Home # 5- Elder Christensen and Elder Hixon
"Tecamac II- Huicholes"
This cute little house has a amazing back yard... flowers, grass, and trees. Do you see their little "friend" in the tree? This house was in total order- kitchen not a speck of dirt and you could have eaten off the floor. I loved their study area as they had pictures hanging and lots of post-it-notes with motivational thoughts. Everywhere you looked on the mirror, the fridge, the microwave, the doors...everywhere... were little post-it-notes reminding them of their goals for the month! Loved it! What also was impressive as soon as the home tour was over Elder Hixon whips out his planner and had questions to ask President regarding specific investigators. Both Elders very in-tune with specific concerns, and needs of their people. They had run home from an appointment to meet us and we took them and dropped them off to their next appointment. Just another example of our hardworking missionaries. Oh how we love each of these missionaries!
PS: Grandma Hixon- Please send Elder Hixon more treats we have got to put some fat back on his bones....

So that wraps up the "Parade of Homes" for this last week.
We will post more as we visit each companionship's home.

Elder Bowles, Elder Almaraz, Elder Bickley, Elder Vique
Visiting a historical site related to "Mining" .

With permission I share this story from one of our great Elders...

President Egbert! thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, and giving me peace of mind. I'm grateful that I was able to learn from you. The other day we had a spiritual experience that I would like to share with you.. we were on our way to an appointment with an investigator, we had been there many times before, and we knew exactly where her house was. On our way there my companion and I passed her house. Further up the road we realized that we had walked right past her house. we were thinking "how did we pass her house"? As we started to head back a man around 25 years old came running up to us from behind saying with tons of enthusiasm and excitement  "excuse me! ..are you guys Mormons"!?...we talked with him, and turns out he had just moved here from Puebla and couldn't find a chapel anywhere in this area. Pedro explained that his wife is a member but that he wasn't and that he wants to receive the lessons. We accompanied him to his house to meet his wife. Turns out they had just moved here two days ago, and Pedro had received one of the lessons from elders in Puebla. After talking with him we set up two appointments to meet with him and his wife later this week. We asked him if he would be baptized and he with enthusiasm agreed!....It is my testimony that we are directed in this work..there is no way that we would have found him (or him us) if we hadn't walked past our destination..I am thankful that the Lord is able to use us as instruments in his hands. I'm humbled to be a part of this work, and thankful that our prayers are answered and we were able to be directed by the Lord.
Thank you for all that you do, your guidance and counsel is much appreciated and needed. i trust you, and i trust in the Lord, i am so thankful that this work at times is challenging!!, because its a challenge i am able to learn and grow. grow in faith and testimony. i know the Savior lives , and knows each of us personally  His desire for us is that when our life's missions are over, we can return to live with him again. I'm learning to love the people here, i can feel it. i am learning more the love the savior has for each of us, I'm thankful to be apart of this mission. and will waste and wear out my life bringing knowledge of the truth to our brothers and sisters here. thanks - Elder _____.